Incident Enroute To A Daryl Stuermer Concert
This message should have been a review of the Daryl Stuermer gig at Shank Hall in Milwaukee if things had gone as planned, but as fate would have it, I never even made it to the show. My roommate Ruth and I had just finished an exam last Friday and were both looking forward to this concert. I had also contacted David Veldhuizen from this list who I had met at the Grand Parade gig last year and who had tried to talk me into going to one of Daryl's gigs ever since. Truth be told, I don't own any of Daryl's solo albums and therefore am unfamiliar with most of his regular setlist. However, there was definitely great anticipation for tonight. After all, in addition to the obvious attraction of an intimate venue, this will be my first chance to attend a live performance by someone who has a significant place in the history of Genesis.
I made all the necessary preparations prior to our 2 hour trek to Milwaukee. We found directions from both the Internet and the box office. In the morning I had my car fixed up at a muffler shop where the damaged boots of the axles on both sides were replaced. I also made sure that I brought the 3SL CD with me just in case I could get an autograph from Mr. Stuermer. The weather man on TV mentioned something about "flash flood warning throughout the night", but it would take a lot more than a little rain to dissuade us from our long awaited trip. At 6 o'clock sharp we set off in my newly repaired Toyota Camry with the CD player blasting Marillion's "Script for a Jesters Tear". We were cruising along the freeway at the speed limit and our spirits were riding high. We discussed what questions we might ask Daryl if we get to talk to him while hoping that the tickets wouldn't be sold out by the time we get there. All was going well when suddenly something happened. For about 5 seconds I was not sure what had occurred, I could not see anything in front of me. Ruth said in a stunned voice "what?!!" when I finally realized that the front hood of my car had flown wide open and blocked my entire front view. I must have said something like "oh my God!" while instinctively stepping on the brake (in hindsight I am glad we did not get hit from the rear). By this time I have found a way of peeking through a narrow crack under the hood, and luckily I was able to see that the car in front of us was quite a distance from us and there was no immediate danger of collision. In the next minute or so I amazed myself by somehow switching to the right lane and eventually making a stop on the shoulder of the freeway. We slowly got out the car from the passenger side (such that we didn't get run over right away by the traffic), and tried in vain to close the front hood. Most likely the wonderful folks at the muffler shop had fixed a little more than the boots. My front hood used to be very difficult to open, now it's permanently cured - no one could possibly keep it closed. Of course I have no real evidence for this, nonetheless I suspect someone had forced the hood open without ever pulling the switch inside the car.
To make a long story short (or as short as I can), we got off the freeway by driving slowly on the shoulder with the hood bobbing up and down the whole way. Then we managed to drive the car home by local streets. On the way home we stopped at what else but another muffler shop. But this time two nice employees who were working late helped us tie the hood down with an electric wire. This is a temporary fix however, they warned, and told us that we needed to find a auto body shop if we hope for a real cure. So here I am, safe but dejected, knowing that tomorrow will be devoted to seeking auto repair service yet again (without a car I can not go to work on Monday). Yes there will be other local Daryl Stuermer shows later in the year, but it is unlikely that they will neatly fit into a break in my schedule like this again. To say I am disappointed is an understatement, although I know I should be thankful that Ruth and I both escaped this disaster unscathed.
When I whined over the phone about the whole ordeal to my friend she raised a fascinating question: "What would you have done if it were a Genesis concert?" I must admit in that case I would have taken a taxi to see the concert as soon as I drove my car home. No I would not have killed myself by trying to drive with an open hood, stupidity is neither a requirement nor a proof for one's fanhood. As we all know, possibilities are endless as long as we are alive.